Following years of community protests, the government of Panama temporarily suspended the construction of the Barro Blanco dam on 9 February 2015. Although the dam’s construction is nearing completion, the Movimiento 10 de Abril (M-10) is satisfied that steps are finally being taken to address their concerns.
Two Dutch and German development banks, FMO and DEG respectively, have each invested USD 25 million in this project. They invested in this controversial dam despite the fact that local communities and civil society had raised concerns about the project with them. “FMO and DEG never came to the affected area to see whether the project complied with their policies and national laws,” explained Manolo Miranda, a representative of M-10.
With support from Both ENDS and SOMO, local groups including the M-10 have filed a complaint at the FMO and DEG’s Independent Complaints Mechanism (ICM). The ICM’s compliance report is expected to be published in mid-March.